Age Reversing Workouts
“Exercise – The Secret To Staying Young And Fit”
History has been witness to all the different tactics people have tried over the ages in their effort to stay young. Since time immemorial, perhaps ever since men and women first saw their reflection, they have been fascinated and even obsessed with staying young and maintaining that youthful look and vigour. The ancient Egyptians applied an ointment made from myrtle plants to prevent wrinkles. Cleopatra took it up a few notches by preferring to bathe in milk and honey just to keep her beauty, timeless. Meanwhile, the celebrities of the modern ages inject hormones into their skins to hold onto their once youthful appearance.
It’s no surprise then that the fashion industry around the world is worth tens or even hundreds of billion dollars. We all know why.
The Pitfalls Of Ageing
Experience has taught us to be wary of old age. It’s not just about the good looks. Here are just some of the side-effects of ageing, that affect our health:
- Obesity. Many of the middle-aged folks begin to put on weight at the rate of almost 4 pounds a year.
- Blood Pressure. With age, the blood vessels get rigid, and the blood pressure tends to shoot up.
- Heart Health. From the age of 30, the max attainable heart-rate drops by about one beat per minute.
- Bone Health. The body begins to lose calcium and the bone density decreases. Even the musculature gets cut down by almost 50% leading to weakness, injuries, disability, bone diseases etc
- Nervous System. Age does not spare even the nervous system. Over time, the reflexes get slower, coordination is no longer at its best, and well let’s just not forget about memory!
There is no escaping from the hands of time. First, we grow strong, and then we grow old. There is no magical third way out. There is, however, a way to minimise the damage.
If you can’t defeat the enemy, slow down the enemy.
Many people seem to get less sleep in their old age than they did in their youth. And even though we all will, inevitably, reach old age, some seem to so much faster.
The key is in controlling the pace of ageing, and the tool at your disposal to do so is exercise. Here’s a little secret – Regular intense workout not only slows down your ageing but can, in fact, even prevent the adverse outcomes of ageing, in effect reversing its process.
tep Up on The Fitness & Step Down On The Ageing!
Hormones play a significant role in giving you your youthful features. As the body grows old, however, the production of these essential hormones goes down. Regular exercise, on the other hand, has been proven to boost the production of some of these hormones such as the human growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin growth factor (IGF – 1). Furthermore, a stressed body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol prevents the body’s production of anabolic hormones that put the body into repair mode and instead shifts the body into a catabolic state. A good training program can reverse this effect and promote the production of anabolic hormones. But how does this help turn back your biological clock? Well hold on, there’s more to exercises than meets the eye.
Telomeres – Your Biological Markers of Age & Health
Studies have found that middle-aged men who regularly train, tend to have telomeres almost as long as those in their early 20’s. You’re probably wondering, what the heck are these telomeres? Well, to put it simply, telomeres are a sort of protein cap present at the end of chromosomes. The telomeres protect the chromosomes and keep them stable.
Every time a cell replicates and divides, the telomeres, in turn, gets shorter and shorter till they become too small and are no longer able to protect the chromosome. The cell then dies, or in other words, ageing takes place!
The older you get, the faster the telomeres get shortened, your biological clock ticking away ever so swiftly. Exercise, however, can slow down this process to a significant extent and even temporarily pause the ageing effect.
The many benefits of exercise do not end there though. When combined with healthy lifestyle habits (diet, meditation etc.), exercise can delay or even prevent some of the symptoms and effects of ageing.
Anti-Ageing Benefits of Exercising:
- Strong Bones – With age and with a drop in activity, the bone density decreases, leading to the brittleness of the bone. Regular exercise increases bone density and prevents bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
- Healthy Heart – Exercise helps increase the maximum attainable heart-rate and improves circulation, keeping your heart healthy and beating!
- Healthy Brain – Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive abilities and significantly reduces the chances of dementia
- Strengthen Mitochondria – The mitochondria present inside each cell converts the food and oxygen received by the body into energy – in short, the mitochondria enables metabolism. Exercise strengthens the mitochondria, thereby improving your insulin resistance and preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Weight Loss – Exercise increases the body’s metabolic rate, and high metabolism helps in burning more calories even when you are resting.
- Improved Flexibility – Adding stretching exercises or yoga to your workout routine improves your flexibility and reduces the chances of injuries.
- Glowing Skin – Exercise improves the blood flow which helps to dispel toxins hiding under the skin. Better blood circulation also provides fresh nutrients and oxygen to the skin, thus keeping it healthy and glowing.
- Healthy Hair – Exercise increases the blood flow to the scalp. The oxygen and antioxidants present in the new blood eliminate the free radicals that damage the hair.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that just any random workout routine will add a decade to your lifespan. An efficient training program that suits your requirements and your body’s demands should be practised consistently in order to maintain your youth. Even just a good training program can sometimes be inadequate. Your other lifestyle habits such as diet, work stress, caffeine, alcohol etc. also play a significant role in both your health and appearance. Like any good trainer worth his salt, I always advise my students to follow a proper diet and encourage them to incorporate yoga or other stretching exercises into their workout routine. Check out the Stress Bucket Model article to learn more about stress management.
Youthfulness is as much about your physical health as it is for your mental health. An old mind is more anxious, restless, forgetful, stressed etc. Your mindset affects your body more than you tend to realise. That is why it is equally important to maintain good mental health as well, through practices such as meditation, breathing techniques etc. Coupled with your physical fitness, this will keep you young throughout, and not just in appearances.
The benefits of exercise can be felt almost immediately after a workout session. Blood and muscles are pumping. You begin to feel fresh and awake. Breathing improves, and the mind feels relaxed.
Have you been following a healthy lifestyle yourself? Surely, you must have noticed the difference between you and your same-age peers who live comparatively sedentary lives. Comment below and let others know how you keep your body young or share this article so that those lazy friends, who prefer skin creams, can wake up!